A kindly soul once corrected my pronunciation of P.G. Wodehouse, and I’m profoundly grateful to him for saving me from making a complete ass of myself when I began mixing in Wodehouse Society circles (if only he'd taught me how to use cutlery as well). I had been pronouncing Wodehouse as if it rhymed with …
He was sorry, he wrote, that he would be unable to see Miss Petherick-Soames on the morrow, as they had planned, owing to his unfortunately being called away to Australia. He added that he was pleased to have made her acquaintance and that if, as seemed probable, they never saw each other again, he would …
An idea by Victoria Madden.
Sometimes the hardest part for screen writers is finding the premise – here’s an idea for a Jeeves and Wooster update you might like to have.
As readers, dedicated and accidental, of this blog will know, most of my creative output takes the form of writing screenplays. I am never sure how worthwhile it really is to try and pursue this as a writing career as, lets face it, you can’t throw a stirrer in any Los Angeles coffee shop without hitting a screenwriter of some sort.
The competition is pretty stiff. And let’s hurriedly gloss over the fact that, even if you were to get your screenplay accepted and paid for, the chances are it will spend years in development before it actually gets made. If it gets made at all.
The problem is I’m good at it: coming up with plot ideas, scenarios, dialogue and characters…
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The Old Stepper, that marvellous Australian character, has reported his experience of the recentish Wodehouse Society convention in Washington USA. Thanks old bean!
Now where was I?* Oh yes . . . The Wodehouse Society convention in Washington DC, way back in October . . . hmmm. It was a big couple of days and I’ve tried to capture them in verse, given that’s less typing. My excuse for not expanding on the topic in my usual wordy way is that the doggerel ate my homework.
No really, thank you, the applause is too much . . .
The Stepper Goes to Washington†
What ho, old bean, they brayed
as The Stepper hove into view.
G’day, I grinned, undismayed
amid the Plummy crew.
I’m the boy from Oz, how’re’y’all
doin’ here in Washington?
What, what, what, they said ’n’ all,
just to be clear, what again?
Well, I knew I couldn’t keep this up
for a whole weekend so I reverted
to English and they offered the cup
of kindness usual to the…
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“Bertie, it is imperative that you marry." "But, dash it all..." "Yes! You should be breeding children to..." "No, really, I say, please!" I said, blushing richly. Aunt Agatha belongs to two or three of these women's clubs, and she keeps forgetting she isn't in the smoking-room.” The Inimitable Jeeves Once again, Plumtopia is celebrating …
The P G Wodehouse Society (UK) wants to know which three short stories you would include in a Wodehouse Pick-Me-Up edition. In the latest edition of Wooster Sauce, Quarterly Journal of The P G Wodehouse Society (UK), the Society is offering members who answer this question the chance to win copies of Random House’s new …
What Ho! Ho! Ho! I hope the festive season finds you happy, healthy and well. Earlier this December, I had a bit of Twitter fun with a Wodehouse themed 12 Days of Christmas – featuring Wodehouse related gift ideas. This piece provides a summary for those of you who don’t follow Twitter. It may be …
Recently, over the morning eggs and b., I stumbled across a thoughtful piece by Alessandro Giuliani called Wodehouse Game. I was prompted to reply, but when my comments hit the 1200-word mark – and diverged substantially from the original piece, I felt the decent thing to do was post it here, rather than infest someone …
The qualities which in later years rendered Frederick Wackerbath Bradshaw so conspicuous a figure in connection with the now celebrated affair of the European, African, and Asiatic Pork Pie and Ham Sandwich Supply Company frauds, were sufficiently in evidence during his school career to make his masters prophesy gloomily concerning his future. The boy was …
The Blog ‘Classically Educated’, which offers itself as ‘A Place for Global Citizens and Polymaths’, recently recommended ‘Three Unconventional Roads to Wodehouse’ – a welcome addition to this subject.
One of my great regrets in life is not having put in the necessary mental spadework to develop my potential as a polymath. My mental faculties are sound – perhaps not genius material, but my mother (like Bertie Wooster’s) thought me bright. And I’m genuinely interested in knowing, well… everything! It’s not a question of prestige, or being good at quiz nights — I just hate to be ignorant.
But life is stern and life is earnest. The necessary toil which consumes one’s fertile thinking hours, also has a tendency to sap ambition. This, along with the inevitable distractions of everyday life, have kept me from developing the old bean to any laudable extent. At this late stage, the best I can reasonably hope for is to become a unimath (if that’s a word, Jeeves), although my areas of current expertise are deplorably limited.
Even on the subject of P.G. Wodehouse, his life and work, I am an enthusiast rather than an expert. I have read (and re-read) his published works, as well as biographies and other works written about him — well over 100 volumes in total. This puts me in the excellent company of hundreds of genial souls around the globe — I am honoured and delighted to be among them. But the experts in our community take their devotion to another level, dedicating long hours to scholarly research to uncover new information (including undiscovered works) for our benefit. I tip my hat to them!
But for the Polymath – or indeed anyone else — looking to extend their reading into the realm of Wodehouse, I feel sufficiently qualified to offer informed advice without making an ass of myself. Indeed, I have already done so.
It always interests me to read others’ recommendations, and I’ve revised my own ideas on the subject many times. There is no wrong way to read Wodehouse, expect perhaps upside-down.
I’m now following this polymath blog in a last-ditch attempt to attain wisdom. Wish me luck!
Mention PG Wodehouse in a conversation and most people will immediately think of Jeeves and Wooster. That’s partly due to the success of the books and stories, but, I suspect, mostly because of the various film and TV adaptations. Of course, the one with Hugh Laurie as Wooster utterly deserves to have that notoriety.
But there is more to Wodehouse than the butler and his hapless gentleman. No less a writer (and polymath) than Isaac Asimov said that Wodehouse, on a sentence level, is one of the three greatest writers in the English language (the other two, if memory serves, being Austen and Dickens).
People often scoff at that, of course. A mere humorist upstaging countless numbers of earnest, serious writers, some of whom are even politically committed? Blasphemy. My answer to that is simple: pick up any of Wodehouse’s books, turn to a random page, and read any sentence…
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